“My life has been severely [and] adversely affected by these,” says this reader about the multitude of creatures she has been finding in her home. She reports finding “black hairlike creatures”, but there are clearly all kinds of critters affecting her life as seen in the array of photos she sent in.
To begin with, we want to thank our reader for the excellent and diverse images, as they make identifying the problem far easier. On top of that, the context she provides is useful as well. Our reader, who is based in Eugene, Oregon, has been having moisture issues in her home. To try to combat this problem, she has had “two moronic sales/pest guys” try to sell her packages of insecticides for creatures they cannot even identify. She has seen black hairlike creatures, which she would like us to follow up on, and she has also been experiencing symptoms. “My own hair has been affected by some sort of pupa or bug,” our reader states. She adds that she also has been getting red marks on her legs, as well as bites. The bugs “appear to be coming up from the floor and out of the wall,” our reader states before sincerely asking for our help.
Following this, we want to say that while we want to help as much as we can, we do feel hesitant to give any certain identifications, seeing as our reader has been experiencing symptoms. Once the situation becomes medical, we cannot give as many straight-up answers as we would like to. This is because we are not medical professionals and are thus not qualified to diagnose such a problem. That being said, it looks as if our reader has potentially been experiencing an infestation of a variety of creatures in her home, some of which may not be parasitic/directly harmful to our reader, and some of which might be what is causing these symptoms for our reader. ¨
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Various images showcase some sort of substance forming on items in our reader’s household, such as her doors and door frames, as well as the slats on a crib (see above). This could very well be mold that is forming as a result of the moisture. In any case, the resolution of the photographs is not clear enough so that we can pick up on individual organisms in the matter, should there be any. In other images, we see straight up spiders and moths. Spiders do not leave behind harmful substances in the home, and if anything might be a helpful presence in the home as it might be helping in eliminating the other creatures present. The moth is not any species of clothes or pantry moth, so its larvae are not likely to infest the home for the purposes of feeding off anything inside of there. Other than that, the rest of the images display organic matter of various shapes and colors, none of which we are able to identify. What we can say is that, whatever black hairlike organism our reader is referring to (we do not see any in the photos), it is not likely that it is a horsehair worm. Whilst there have been a handful of cases of people passing horsehair worms through their faeces or vomit (because they have almost swallowed one), horsehair worms do not actually infect mammals of any kind and are not pathogenic to them either.
What we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist Eugene” or “tropical medicine specialist Eugene”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting (she can also book a comprehensive stool test through this website). 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com. Other readers of ours have had great luck with Dr. Savaliya in particular, so we can definitely recommend him. Likewise, If any of our readers have found a physician who was knowledgeable and helpful regarding parasites, please leave their name and contact information in a comment below!
To conclude, we cannot say for sure what our reader has been finding in her home. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of the organic matter shown in these photos is quite nondescript in appearance and does not resemble any organisms we know of, but mostly due to the fact our reader is experiencing symptoms, and as we are not medical professionals, it is not within our capabilities or rights to identify this problem. We urge our reader to seek alternative treatment for the moisture problem in her home (as the people she is currently dealing with seem to be less than satisfactory), as well as seek medical help for the symptoms she has been experiencing. For whichever consultation she may end up going to, we recommend that she brings these photographs, as well as any samples of the organisms she can bring. We wish our reader the best of luck and that she can get this resolved sooner rather than later.